Mississippi Casinos Down 5.1% To $2.13bn In 2013January 23, 2014 2:51 pm
The Mississippi Gaming Commission has released its gambling figures for the whole of 2013, revealing the state’s 30 casinos experienced a 5.1% drop in gross revenues to $2.136 billion, compared to $2.251 billion collected in the previous year.
Breaking Mississippi’s 2013 results down further, Northern Mississippi’s 18 river casinos generated $84 million less revenue last year at $1.072 billion, while South Mississippi saw its revenues fall by 3% or $31 million, although it still topped $1 billion. Overall, Mississippi’s casinos were down by $114 million in 2013 compared to 2012.
Last year’s results marked the lowest gambling revenue year for ‘The Magnolia State’ since 1997, when 24 casinos generated $1.984 billion in revenues. Similar to other gambling markets, Mississippi has been suffering from increased competition as other US states get on board the casino gambling bandwagon and since reaching a peak of $2.891 billion in 2007, the state has seen its revenues steadily decline.
Commenting on last year’s casino results, Allen Godfrey, executive director of the Mississippi Gaming Commission, explained: “I think competition is really hurting everyone.. Even Pennsylvania just had its first down month in the last five or six years.”
There may also appear to be more worrying signs on the horizon for Mississippi as Florida legislators meet in March to discuss an expansion of its state gambling.
“There’s no telling how that will end up. But if they do expand it, we will feel the impact. Just like we feel the impact from the Poarch Creek Indian casinos in Alabama and the casino in West Memphis,” said Godfrey.
Despite the downward slide in revenues, however, Allen Godfrey was keen to strike a note of optimism for the state’s casino industry and highlighted the fact that Mississippi’s coastal casinos and the Lower River Region were now investing millions of dollars in new hotels, renovations and amenities as they sought to attract more visitors to the state.